Why Shazam Is the Entertainment Industry's New Best Friend

January 19, 2016 • By Christopher Null, Wired Brand LAB • Blog Post

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • The popular song ID app uses enhanced technology to shake up the music industry
  • Shazam is now looking beyond music, using its software on TV shows and in magazines

A look at how Shazam's tech turned billions of tiny music clips into an industry-changing force

In Shazam's early days, users would call up a special phone number, let it listen in on a snippet of overheard music, then get a text back identifying the song. Fourteen years later, the world's most popular music discovery app has 120 million users and record companies are tapping its massive piles of social data to spot (and sign) new artists and launch new labels.

What's driving all that value? Shazam's core song-ID technology and algorithms, which have gotten so advanced that outside developers are adapting them for use in everything from identifying bird calls to predicting earthquakes.

Here's a look at how the technology is turning billions of scraps of tinny ambient music into a new industry-changing force.

 

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